Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Handvo somewhat reminds me of American cornbread. I must admit, that I never liked it as a kid. but as I grew older, I tried it and ever since, I love it. It has loads of grains like wheat, rice and also daals - urad daal, chana daal, toor daal & green moog daal, grated ashgourd (Dudhi), generous sprinkles of sesame seeds on top. It needs to be fermented using yogurt and then baked in the oven till a nice brown crust is formed. You can cut into squares, rectangles, or wedges. I have seen some Gujarati households serving it with raw peanut oil (similar to bread dipping with extra virgin olive oil in Italy!). But we do not serve it with oil. We eat it just as is. It does taste good. Sometimes I also serve it with garlic-coriander chutney.

Our Gujarati family friend who has been living in US for many years, always used grated zucchini instead of dudhi and also adds some raisins. Her kids devour it as a "Zucchini Bread". I generally use the homemade handvo flour that my ma-in-law sends me. It makes my life easier, as all I have to do is to ferment it using yogurt. Generally Indian stores also carry "Handvo Flour" or you can even buy Tarla Dalal brand.

Handvo (Serves 6- 8)
2 1/2 cups Handvo nu loat
1" ginger
3 green chilies
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 cup Grated Dudhi (Bottle Gourd) or zucchini
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup Yogurt
1 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp Oil

1 tbsp Sesame seeds
generous pinch of hing
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp Carom seeds

1. Take the handvo flour. If it's in the airtight container for a long time, keep it in the sun or just dry roast it for 5 minutes.
2. Add yogurt and 2 tbsp oil and 1 cup warm water to the above flour. Keep it in a warm place to ferment for 8 hours.
3. Grind chilies and ginger to a fine paste.
4. Add ginger-chilies paste, turmeric powder, salt, hing, sugar, grated dudhi, baking soda to the batter.
5. Grease a rectangular baking pan with oil. Add the batter.

6. Preheat over to 375 F
7. Meanwhile heat remaining 2 tbsp oil. Add rai, sesame seeds, carom seeds.
8. As they splutter, pour over the batter making sure it covers the entire batter.
9. Bake for about 35 - 45 minutes till a uniform brown crust is formed.
10. Take out. Cut into squares and serve immediately.

Note - Instead of the handvo flour, the same recipe can be followed using Khatta (White) dhokla flour.



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